Start your engines: Putin driving truck, opens newly-built Crimean Bridge

Start your engines: Putin driving truck, opens newly-built Crimean Bridge

Modern critics have questioned the reliability and durability of the Russian bridge, as the bottom of the Kerch strait is covered with up to 80 meters of mud, requiring the construction of deep piles to support the bridge.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has inaugurated the automobile part of the newly-built Kerch Strait Bridge, APA reported citing TASS.

The chief editor of the Kremlin-funded channel, Margarita Simonyan, wrote on Twitter that "Kiev made a decision to take revenge on us for the Crimean Bridge", after the raids on the offices of RIA Novosti state news agency, which is part of the same media group as RT.

"At last, thanks to your talent this project, this miracle has happened", Putin told the crowd of workers.

After the construction equipment convoy crossed the bridge, the head of state addressed a rally marking the opening of the Crimean Bridge motorway.

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"It is particularly cynical that its opening is happening on the eve of the latest anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean-Tatar people by the Stalin regime".

Russian Federation annexed Crimea from neighboring Ukraine in 2014, drawing sanctions and prompting a sharp deterioration in ties with the West.

The Russian leader, who was re-elected for a fourth Kremlin term in March extending his long rule, then pledged to build more of "such projects" across Russia.

The cost of the project is estimated at around 228 billion rubles (about 3.6 billion USA dollars), according to the project's website. Vehicle traffic on the bridge will start on may 16 at 5.30 am. The rail section was due to be completed at the end of 2019. "Many didn't believe these plans were possible", Kremlin spokesman told reporters on Tuesday ahead of the ceremony.

"Today, both in a practical sense and from a symbolic point of view, is an extremely important day", he added.

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The Soviets managed to finish the bridge in the summer of 1944 using the materials left by the German army, but the bridge was destroyed six months later by ice flows.

The bridge's opening ceremony drew further criticism.

"Let me remind you, on my behalf to the Arbitration Tribunal of the UN Convention on the law of the sea was filed on protecting the sovereign interests of Ukraine, in particular, in connection with the illegal construction of the bridge Kerch", - said Poroshenko.

European Union member states chose to impose travel bans and asset freezes on five individuals, who held positions in electoral commissions in Crimea, which the European Union considers "actively supporting and implementing policies that undermine the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine".

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